|Pray for Christians in Syria!|
"There's a strong indication that some of these rebels in the country are influenced by Iran and even perhaps Iranian backing on the extremist side," says Carl Moeller of Open Doors USA.
Moeller explains that "the Christians there that we're working with are quite concerned that if there are extremists mobilizing in the rebellion and they overthrow Assad, without any clear replacement in place, there could be a period of time—perhaps even a permanent situation—where Iran or other extremist nations use their influence to make it very, very difficult for the Christians."
Simply put, "Under Assad, there was relative stability—albeit limited freedoms, but relative stability in the country which allowed for protection for the Christian communities."
Syria has a Christian population of approximately 1.5 million believers which is 8 to 9 percent of the total population of the country. They are members of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant denominations. While the church of Syria is not a hidden or secret church, the evangelical church often faces problems when it reaches out with the gospel.
Open Doors reported that some churches in Syria cancelled their Easter services because of the unstable political situation. Easter weekend was one of the bloodiest since the riots and anti-government demonstrations started in mid-March. The Associated Press reported 120 deaths last weekend across Syria and a total of 450 deaths since the unrest began.
"The current situation in Syria is very uncertain for Christians in the country," says an Open Doors co-worker. "Look at the population of Syria,” he says. “It is a mix of minorities of Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Christians, Druzes, Kurds and others; that is potentially an explosive mix. I see a possible clashing of these minorities in which I think Christians will be possible victims of much violence."
You can read more of Mission Network News' story here. Please pray today for believers in Syria!